Lovie Smith has held various coaching roles in his two decades in the NFL, but now he can also add ticket sales to his resume.
On his first day as Houston Texans head coach, Smith visited the Texans Ticket Office and helped land a new Season Ticket Member for the 2022 Season. Patrick, a potential client who lives in East Texas, was on the fence about purchasing Texans season tickets. That is until he received an unexpected phone call from the head coach himself, also an East Texas native.
"This is Lovie Smith, your new head football coach by way of Big Sandy, Texas," Smith said when Patrick answered.
Patrick seemed a bit unsure and his wife even more skeptical that the voice on the other end belonged to the Texans' new head coach. Patrick's quick-thinking wife came up with an idea.
"You know what? He can confirm that this Coach Lovie Smith if he can tell us anything about Gilmer, Texas," she said.
Big Sandy is located just southwest of Gilmer, Texas, the couple's hometown. Smith's football career began in Big Sandy, where he led the Wildcats to three consecutive state championships in high school as a defensive end and linebacker. He later returned to Big Sandy High School to launch his coaching career in 1980.
So if, in fact, the real Lovie Smith was calling, he would know a thing or two about Gilmer, Texas.
"Oh yes I can tell you quite a bit," Smith replied. "It's about 10 miles from Big Sandy on Interstate 155. There's a hot link place that I used to eat at way back in the day. How about the Gilmer Buckeyes? You want me to keep going?"
The couple was noticeably impressed and now convinced that Smith himself was indeed on the phone with them. They chatted for a bit more. Patrick told Smith he was excited to hear he landed the head coaching position earlier this week and hopeful he could take the Texans "to the next level."
With the skills of an experienced salesman, Smith didn't stop there. He closed the deal.
"So you're saying you're going to be in the stands, those eight home games we're talking about this coming season? We can count on you?" Smith asked.
"I'm gonna be in the stands, Coach," Patrick said, promising to finalize the sale with his ticket sales rep as soon as he hung up with the head coach.
"See you in the fall!" Smith said.